Brand Michael “Papa” Nummilien, age 71, passed away Friday morning, Dec. 15, 2017, at his home in Rock, surrounded by his loving family.
Brand was born on April 14, 1946 in Escanaba, MI, to parents Bruno and Helen (Kallio) Nummilien. He was a lifelong resident of Rock, MI and graduated from Rock High School in 1964. On Sept. 30, 1967, Brand was united in marriage to the former Barb Beauchamp. Brand and Barb celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Sept. 30, 2017 at camp with their family.
For 30 years, Brand worked at K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base as a heavy equipment mechanic. After its closure, he became a bus driver for Mid Peninsula School. His love for kids was obvious as his family often teased Papa that he lost money driving bus from always treating his bus kids to ice cream. Brand had the biggest heart and his generosity went beyond his own family.
Brand retired in 2009, giving him more time to visit the “woods.” He enjoyed cutting, skidding, and splitting wood, often with equipment he designed and made himself.
Brand was very proud of his Finnish heritage. He enjoyed his nightly sauna and made sure to let everyone know that the sauna was hot. Some of Brand’s passions included fishing, spending time at hunting camp, and reading about historic events, like World War II. He loved gunsmithing and all his family members hunt with a gun he built. Brand also shared his fondness of antique tractors with his grandsons and loved playing cards with friends and family, as he was a fierce cribbage player. When at home, Brand could often be found shopping on Craigslist and listening to polka music on his Kindle. He was a big animal lover and always had a supply of dog treats to give.
Above all, the greatest joy in Brand’s life was spending time with his family. Spoiling his grandchildren was a sport he took first place in. He made sure to visit all his grandchildren every Christmas morning to watch them open presents and loved giving them money for any occasion. In return, Brand will always be known as “The Best Papa.” Brand also planned his family’s annual 4th of July camping trip. He cherished these trips, because the whole family was together day and night making countless of memories.
Brand is survived by his wife, Barb; his boys: Brand (Collette) Nummilien Jr. of Rock, Cori (Marie) Nummilien of Rock, and Shawn (Tracie) Nummilien of Rock; his favorite daughter, Bridget (Rodney) Trudell of Rock; his beloved grandchildren: Miranda, Melani, Kelsie, Mitchell, Kayla, Cori, Haley, Brandon, Dylan, Olivia, and Tia; his brothers: Brian (Cindy) Nummilien of McFarland, Brent Nummilien of Rock, Bruce (Mari) Nummelin of Stevens Point, WI, Benny (Terry) Nummilien of Rock; his sisters: Sandra (Dave) Beauchamp of Rock, Susie (Marvin) Connors of McFarland, and Sherri (Buddy) Koth of Rock; his brothers-in-law: Tom (Susie) Beauchamp of Rock, Tim (Carol) Beauchamp, Dan Beauchamp of Sturgeon Bay, WI, and Doug Beauchamp of Gwinn; his sisters-in-law: Donna (Dennis) Koontz of Sun City, AZ, Rebecca Smith of Jacksonville, FL, Brenda (John) Wery of Rock, and Jean (Jim) Beauchamp of Rock.
Brand was preceded in death by his parents, Bruno and Helen; in-laws, Ron and Rose Beauchamp; and brother-in-law, Roger Ledgerwood.
Visitation will be held at Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone, MI on Saturday, December 23 from 1 to 4 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on the same day at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Perkins, MI at 5 p.m., with a luncheon to follow. He will be laid to rest at the Rock Cemetery in the Spring of 2018. Skradski Family Funeral Homes of Delta County are assisting the Nummilien family and messages of condolence may be offered online at www.skradskifuneralhomes.com